Emergency transatlantic overnighting of trading servers

The day following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, we shipped 13 relief financial trading servers from London to New Jersey for a flooded Hedge Fund client, arranged plane charter and night customs clearance, and brought the firm back online within 24 hours.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was a shock to the East Coast of America and especially to one Wall Street company that suddenly found its trading floor under eight feet of salt water. Unsurprisingly the company’s vital secure servers were rendered completely out of action.

With the next trading day looming, a back up trading floor was quickly established in New Jersey. But traders can’t trade without secure servers and the only servers were located in London, UK.  Soon an understandably rather worried client was on the phone from across the pond asking Cadogan Tate to put their thinking caps on.

Time was of the essence, and with no plan yet in place on how to actually make the transatlantic journey, Cadogan Tate still proactively dispatched a team to the trader’s London office to get the thirteen servers ready to go.

What about a plane? With the instruction of ‘whatever it costs, get it done’, the decision was made to hire Sir Alan Sugar’s own private plane to make the journey. Within hours, and with still no clear destination as airports around New Jersey were being badly affected by the storm, or even the customs paperwork, the plane took off.

Somewhere around midnight UK time the plane landed in the Arctic Circle to refuel but refused to take off again without a definite destination. Back in London, Cadogan Tate made many phone calls to track down a customs officer in the USA prepared to meet the plane and clear the shipment, while the plane’s co pilot texted the server serial numbers to the office.

At 03:30 am NY time the plane landed in Bangor, Maine, the customs man did his bit and by 06:45 the plane was landing in New Jersey where truck and driver were waiting engines idling impatiently.

By 09:30 the back up trading floor was up and running. Job done.


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